Psychographic Flash Cards for Marketers: Print them out and improve your skills

as a writer who crossed over into strategy (and by that i mean tripped, hit my head and woke up on the other side of the fence with a throbbing skull and the desire to speak, live and think rhetorically), my favourite part of the marketing and advertising process was always the part where i got to write up consumer psychographics. i’ve been told i’m quite good at it. i’ve also been told i’m quite good at lying and manipulating people, but i guess like everything in life it depends on your attitude.

one thing i noticed about market research is how deeply marketers read between the lines. if a consumer says “I like Coke Zero”, a bunch of invisible subtitles that only us marketers can see comes up which translates that sentence into:

“I am a young female who was once naturally skinny except now i have passed the age of 21 and got some muffin tops which have caused me to stop buying Levi’s jeans since they only really fit hip-less girls and now I buy my jeans at Woolworths because I am scared if I spend too much money on a brand it will be a waste because I will probably get fatter and have to buy more jeans anyway. My ideal car would be a Mini Cooper and while I don’t save yet I appreciate Standard Bank’s attempts to lure me into their Achiever Plan with neat discounts from Apple. Apple 4 Ever. PC sucks. I aspire to Scarlett Johanssen because she is sexy and proud of her curves and has a brain because she did an album of Tom Waits covers.”

so when i discovered this site called Beforeidieiwantto.org i thought it would be handy resource for marketers. What you do is print out the Polaroids and use them as Flash Cards to flex your psychographic muscles when you’re sitting around sharpening your pencils and pretending to put briefs into the system. treat the statements about what the consumers want to do before they die as insights into the mind of the consumer, and translate it into strategy speak.

>>>>>beforeidieiwantto is a site set up by some Polaroid fans to protest Polaroid’s decision to stop making film. basically they go around taking Polaroids of people and asking them to name one thing they want to do before they die. i guess it captures the spontaneity and spirit of Polaroid while turning each photo into something meaningful and completely non-disposable, ie. the total opposite digital photography.let’s take a look at what kind of conclusions you can draw from the following consumers and their Polaroid statements:

Age 18 - 23, LSM 6+, Male.

Demographics: Age 18 - 23, LSM 6+, Male.

Psychographic interpretation:

“My parents love me and want me to succeed in my own time so they buy me tops from Guess and Diesel (sometimes) and my jeans from Levi’s from Edgars because my mom has a card there. I tell people I drink Heineken because it makes me feel like I am absorbing a bit of the zany-ness in their ads through osmosis but I’ll drink anything really. I listen to 5fm and i belong to the Junior Rotary Club (a.k.a i pay a Tiger Tiger VIP membership fee so i can skip the queue). I drive an Opel Corsa but I aspire to a Hummer and I once entered that 5fm competiton to win one but i kept forgetting to phone in so I didn’t. I have a girlfriend but she hates me because i play Xbox when she’s over and the one time she thought i gave her herpes. I watch TV as often as I can because I believe an education is really important.”

age 21 - 25, LSM 6+, Female

Demographics: age 21 - 25, LSM 6+, Female

Psychographic interpretation:

“I was one of those awkward teenagers who eschewed mainstream cool culture, and used words like ‘eschewed’. Because I am of above average intelligence i realise that not buying into mainstream means i buy into alternative, and i looked to art for my inspiration eg. Rammstein, mIRC, Doc Martens. Marketers who want to get my attention should appeal to the fact that I consider myself above my peers because i don’t buy into MTV culture. I do have some insecure moments and I have caught myself comparing diet products. I am and always will be a PC person and think people who use Apples are dupes. I spend my spare money on figurines and fantasy novels and i get a LOT of cashback vouchers from Exclusive Books. I don’t watch TV because i get my series downloaded. I drink White Horse whisky because it’s actually a good blend and Lagavulin is its core malt, which means I use knowledge of exclusive brands as status symbols. If I were a car I would be a Black Vintage Chevrolet, or whatever the car is in Death Proof. Tarantino is a genius.”

**********Get Practising your psychographic skills HERE**************

PS. I really respect this initiative, since i have a Polaroid camera and I really really don’t want to run out of film.

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